Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire opens new temporary ER

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Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire gets new temporary ER
WATCH: A new temporary emergency department is about to open at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire. The new structure comes after an investigation last year in the wake of a series of emergency department deaths since 2019. The new unit will be in place until the old is renovated. Global's Phil Carpenter reports – May 14, 2024

Almost one year after an investigation into operations at the aging Lakeshore Hospital emergency department in Pointe-Claire revealed severe deficiencies, a new, modern, modular emergency room is set to open right next to it.

The new unit, built on the parking lot of the old ER, is a temporary measure meant to correct some of the problems.

“This is an in-between step to the new emergency (room) that we’re building at the end of 2027, early 2028,” explains Dan Gabay, CEO of the West Island health board.

In 2023 the province’s health ministry launched the investigation after several troubling deaths.

A report released in June last year described a “toxic environment” and “abominable conditions.” It also warned that other adverse events could occur since patients couldn’t be properly monitored from doctors’ and nurses’ stations.

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Head nurse Rose Carmel Exantus insists the new modular structure is a vast improvement.

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“As you see, anywhere that the nursing stations are you can turn 360 degrees and you can see all the patients in the area yourself,” she says, showing off the brightly lit central hub of the space.

Gabay points out that there’s more much more space and a lot of daylight — even more than the 31 beds in the old ER.

“The current emergency has 30 stretchers, has also 4 isolation rooms, and has 4 resuscitation rooms,” he notes, adding that all the stretchers are monitored.

Exantus also refers to the larger waiting room in the new structure, saying that she can station more staff there for patients.

“You have a nurse there to look after you in the waiting room, so I can catch the (patients) that will leave without being seen if they have been waiting for long,” she told Global News.

These are the kinds of changes staff like Dr. Robin Nathanson, chief of emergency medicine, believes will make a big difference for clients.

“I think that having a new space, which is well thought out which is properly laid out, will really allow us to optimize the care we give to patients,” he argues.

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Nurses’ union spokesperson Kristina Hoare agrees and says these are changes staff have been demanding for years, so they’re thrilled about that.

“(Also) that a new emergency room is coming,” she says. “I think that’s the biggest thing for most of our members is that there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The temporary ER, which was supposed to be opened last November, starts welcoming patients Wednesday.

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